Assistant manager Ferran Sibila, filling in for absent boss Poya Asbaghi who is displaying Covid-19 symptoms, said there was ‘belief’ in the Barnsley team before his skipper gifted Keinan Davis’ 15th-minute goal proved the game’s turning point.
Two heavy touches in the middle of the pitch saw Anderson robbed of possession and Davis ran through to open the scoring. In-form Forest went on to add two more through Ryan Yates and Brennan Johnson.
“We had a lot of players missing and out of position but we still had a plan and, before they scored, we showed the belief was there,” the Spanish coach said. “We were pressing well and had a good chance on the counter attack.
“I was really pleased with the performance up to the point when we had that unfortunate situation with Mads, who is a fantastic player who I admire for the way he trains and plays. But we gave that first goal to them and it changed the game.
“The belief went down after that and, while we have looked at the running stats and they show that the commitment was still there, the performance was not good enough.”
Forest boss Steve Cooper wasn’t overly impressed by his team, who were comfortable throughout the match.
“I was pleased with the result and enjoyed the goals, but I did not love the overall performance, particularly in the second half,” he said.
“We’re a much better team than what we showed and the result and performance did not really match up, even though we could have scored five or six goals.”
Barnsley are bottom of the Championship, eight points of fourth-bottom Reading though with a game in hand over the Royals.
Asbaghi is expected to be back in the dugout on Saturday when his side take on Bournemouth at Oakwell.